Coors Light has found an illuminating way to get around NFL rules prohibiting active players from directly endorsing beer—by having Patrick Mahomes pitch a branded flashlight.
In a new video that will run on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and other digital channels, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback plugs “The Coors Light,” which is a long, silver flashlight that carries the brand’s name. The ad describes it as made with “high-quality steel so it feels as cold as the Rocky Mountains”—a purposeful reference to the beer’s long-running tagline.
The ad is from Mischief, which continues to win high-profile assignments from Molson Coors. The spot begins by showing Mahomes grabbing the flashlight from the refrigerator, and goes on to include several more not-so-subtle beer references. But the beer itself never appears in the ad.
The approach is a cheeky way to skirt NFL rules that prohibit active NFL players from making direct product endorsements of beer brands. The rules used to be far more restrictive. Until 2019, beer brands could not use active players at all in ads.
Now they can appear in beer ads including point-of-sale marketing and out-of-home ads but they must be shown in playing uniforms, not street clothes, with images limited to action shots taken from the Associated Press, according to the latest regulations that were confirmed to Ad Age by an NFL representative.
Coors Light is selling the flashlight at a special website for $15 starting today through July 15. Proceeds go to Mahomes’ charitable foundation, which is called 15 and the Mahomies and benefits children.
The star quarterback is known to be a longtime Coors Light fan, and the brand has worked to foster a business relationship with him in recent years.
Mahomes gave the beer valuable publicity recently when he was spotted drinking Coors Light during “The Match,” a celebrity golf event aired by TNT in June that included three other quarterbacks, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen.